At just 27 years old, Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan has an almost overwhelming set of accolades alongside his name. All six of his feature films have won major awards, including this one, which like several others tackles a dysfunctional family with style, humour and unflinching nastiness. This one also features a stellar cast at the top of their game, and a situation that's almost painfully easy to identify with.
It opens as Louis (Gaspard Ulliel) arrives at his rural family home for the first time in 12 years to tell his family that he's dying. But he finds it difficult to get the words out. His mother Martine (Nathalie Baye) is chirpy and excited, his older brother Antoine (Vincent Cassel) challenges everything everyone says, and their younger sister Suzanne (Lea Seydoux) is curious to learn more about this brother she never really knew. And then there's Antoine's eerily patient wife Catherine (Marion Cotillard), who quietly observes everything until she understands what Louis is struggling to tell everyone, long before he can say it out loud.
Yes, this is an exploration of how awkward it is to go home again, falling back into old patterns of behaviour that make it very difficult to be yourself and say what needs to be said. And also how hard it is to understand the experiences and lifestyle of people we were once very close to who have moved on. The film is based on a play by Jean-Luc Lagarce, which is apparent in its closed-in location and the series of pointed conversations. And Dolan opens this out cleverly, using visually stunning camerawork that continually isolates the characters' inner thoughts and feelings in contrast to their outer actions. In other words, it's immediately clear why Louis left these people behind.
Continue reading: It's Only The End Of The World Review
Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on videogames. There may have been some hits (like Tomb Raider or the Resident Evil franchise), but none has ever been critically acclaimed. So perhaps reuniting the cast and director of 2015's Macbeth might finally break the cycle. But while there's plenty of whizzy stuntwork, this film never finds a story or characters to grab hold of the audience.
In present-day Texas, death row prisoner Cal (Michael Fassbender) is executed by lethal injection and wakes up in a gloomy fortress towering over Madrid. He's been saved by shady businessman Rikkin (Jeremy Irons), whose daughter Sofia (Marion Cotillard) is a scientist experimenting with DNA memory. Rikkin needs Cal to travel back into his own history using a mechanical contraption called an Animus to find out where his 15th century ancestor Aguilar (also Fassbender) hid the Apple of Eden, which holds the key to controlling human will. But Cal discovers that he is the last in a long line of Assassins who have sworn to protect the apple from Knights Templar like Rikkin or his imperious supreme leader Ellen (the fabulously gloomy Charlotte Rampling).
The idea is a clever one, and director Justin Kurzel keeps the visuals grounded with action that feels earthy and real rather than digitally manipulated. Indeed, the combination of sleek sci-fi thrills with medieval fantasy horror is very cool. But there's one huge problem with the premise: all of the big fight sequences and eye-catching parkour acrobatics take place in distant history. Cal can experience these things, but he can't actually do anything, so there's no peril involved. Instead, we get endless explanations of the technology and historical inter-connections, which never quite make sense regardless of how much the characters talk about them.
Continue reading: Assassin's Creed Review
Callum Lynch is a criminal facing the death sentence but is given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to escape his fate by joining the mysterious Animus Project set up by Abstergo Industries. Abstergo is to its time essentially what the Knights Templar was in the 12th and 13th century, and want to hook Lynch up to an experimental piece of technology that will allow him to experience and explore the memories of his ancestor Aguilar de Nerha who lived as an Assassin in 15th century Spain. He's returning to the age of the Spanish Inquisition which means he must absorb the warrior skills of his long-dead relative - but that only means that he's developing the tools to take down the organisation that pose a threat to him in the modern day.
Continue: Assassin's Creed Trailer
Brad confesses his love of the World War II film genre.
In the romantic thriller Allied, Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard play spies who fall in love with each other then face a crisis of trust. The setting is a familiar one for Pitt ("Yeah, I do seem to end up in a few World War II films as of late!"), who first heard about the project several years ago while he was making World War Z in England.
Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard star in 'Allied'
"I had a meeting with screenwriter Steven Knight, and he began to tell me the story before he had written it," Pitt says. "I got really intrigued by this idea of a couple and trust - trusting your instinct, trusting each other, trusting the mission. And it was based on members of his family. Many years later, here we are, and it's nice to see this thing come full circle."
Continue reading: Brad Pitt And Marion Cotillard Loved The 1940s Stylings Of Allied
There's a terrific script at the heart of this World War II thriller, with a blast of complex romance alongside some dark Hitchcockian twists. But filmmaker Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump) was probably the wrong man for the directing job, as he overproduces every scene to within an inch of its life. Everything is so big and slick that the story begins to be swamped by the too-perfect costumes and scenery. Which makes it difficult for the audience to engage in what should really be a scrappy, dangerous little drama.
It all kicks off in 1942 Casablanca, where Canadian pilot Max (Brad Pitt) meets French resistance agent Marianne (Cotillard), and together they pose as a couple to infiltrate a party and assassinate a high-ranking Nazi. They also fall in love, and afterwards decide to move to London together and start a family. But a year later, as they are raising their young daughter in leafy Hampstead, Max is told by British officials (Jared Harris and Simon McBurney) that Marianne may have secretly been a German spy all along. And there's now a countdown, as a trap as been laid to prove her guilt unless Max can find evidence to the contrary.
What follows is a tense series of events that are drenched in suspicion and intrigue as Max scrambles around to find the truth while trying not to let Marianne know what he's up to. It's a clever set-up that's very nicely played by Pitt and Cotillard, both of whom bring contrasting layers of emotion and subterfuge to their roles, plus plenty of swooning romantic energy. Most intriguing is that both are able to remain likeable as things progress. So whatever the outcome, it won't change how we feel about them. The adept actors in the side roles are excellent, although they're little more than more scenery around the central couple.
Continue reading: Allied Review
Pitt appeared at the red carpet premiere of 'Allied' in L.A. on Tuesday, with reports the following day indicating that the DCFS investigation had been closed.
Brad Pitt has made his first red carpet appearance since his high-profile divorce from Angelina Jolie, in the immediate wake of reportedly being cleared in the investigation that was launched by child services into whether he physically abused his son Maddox aboard a private plane.
The 52 year old actor appeared in Los Angeles on Tuesday night (November 8th) at the premiere of his new film Allied, alongside co-star Marion Cotillard. Onlookers claimed that the star looked like he’d lost a lot of weight since his last public appearance more than two months ago, possibly as the result of the stress of the split plus the investigation.
Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard filming 'Allied' back in March 2016
Lea Seydoux posing alone and with Marion Cotillard at the BFI London Film Festival screening of 'It's Only The End of the World' held at Odeon Leicester Square, London, United Kingdom - Friday 14th October 2016
Since the demise of Brangelina this week, speculation has been rampant that Pitt had an affair with 'Allied' co-star Marion Cotillard - which she has strongly denied.
In an Instagram post on Wednesday evening (September 21st), the French actress attempted to put those reports to bed in what she wrote was her “first and only reaction” to the sensational news that swept the media world on Tuesday night.
At the same time, the 40 year old revealed that she and her husband, Guillaume Canet, were expecting their second baby together.
Continue reading: Marion Cotillard Denies Having An Affair With Brad Pitt
It's 1942 and the world is in the middle of a war unlike any that have happened before. The Nazi Party not only have control of Germany but they've branched out into France and their grip is tightening on lands further afield. The allied forces only held relatively small areas in France and many operatives worked undercover.
Marianne Beausejour is one such operative, she's a beautiful woman who managed to infiltrate certain circles. She's deep undercover and is trusted by her enemies. Max Vatan is spy assassin who's sent to France to help the allied forces. The pair fall for one another and start a love affair. As their relationship deepens, their safety is compromised and they both must fight to protect the love they've built.
The story for Allied is written by Steven Knight (Burnt & Peaky Blinders) and is said to be based on a true story.
Assassin's Creed sees Michael Fassbender cast as the protagonist Callum Lynch, in this action adventure film that is based on the video game franchise of the same name. Lynch's identity no longer exists and he is forced by revolutionary technology to hear, see and feel the memories of his ancestor Aguilar de Nerha, who was an assassin during the Spanish Inquisition.
Continue: Assassin's Creed Trailer
Fassbender looks back on his drama school days with the Shakespearean epic.
In between his high-profile roles in Slow West, Steve Jobs and the forthcoming X-Men: Apocalypse, Michael Fassbender took time out to shoot a gritty new version of Shakespeare's Macbeth with Australian filmmaker Justin Kurzel. "While on a big film you've got all the options in the world open to you," he says. "But on a small film even getting it made is a hard thing. I love how fast you have to work - that pressure of having to get it right in one take or not at all."
Marion Cotillard and Michael Fassbender have an emotional story to portray in 'Macbeth'
Fassbender's only previous experience with Shakespeare was in drama school. "Shakespeare is challenging because of the language," he says. "And Macbeth is going through quite a lot!"
Continue reading: Macbeth Teams Michael Fassbender And Marion Cotillard
Date of birth
30th September, 1975
At just 27 years old, Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan has an almost overwhelming set of...
Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...
Callum Lynch is a criminal facing the death sentence but is given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity...
Assassin's Creed sees Michael Fassbender cast as the protagonist Callum Lynch, in this action adventure...
Shakespeare's Scottish play returns to the big screen with earthy energy, visual style and roaring...
Macbeth is a Scottish Duke who is greeted by three witches following a victorious battle....
After a long, hard battle, a Scottish Thane learns of a prophesy that will change...
A Little Girl's Mother has high expectations of her daughter, given her own career success,...
The Dardenne brothers consistently make compelling dramas that win awards, from Rosetta (1999) to The...
While the story centres on twisted moral dilemmas, this 1970s-set thriller takes such a hesitant,...
Ewa Cybulski and her sister Magda are Polish immigrants in search of new lives in...